Cerys Davies, 16, was diagnosed with bone cancer when she was 13 and was shocked to see how her friends deserted her and other kids at her school laughed at her behind her back
Image: DAILY MIRROR)
A school girl has told of how she was bullied at school after being diagnosed with cancer and there was even an Instagram account set-up by other kids to have a laugh at her.
Cerys Davies, 16, from Stafford was 13 when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that led to her leg being amputated and chemotherapy.
She is now opening up about her experience to help others going through a similar time and the need to be supportive with it being particularly difficult at school.
“When I was diagnosed with cancer the friendship group that I was in completely disappeared. I didn’t hear from any of them or anybody else in my year at school,” she said.
“Three months into treatment I went back into school to do a talk, and everyone hugged me, and I just found it really false as nobody had talked to me for all that time.”
Cerys said after her diagnosis how she only told her best friend, who was initially very supportive, but rumours began to spread at her school and other pupils would laugh at the way she needed crutches and even steal them from her.
When she began her chemotherapy she had to open up at school with the announcement made at an assembly. She said how uncomfortable and false it was with other kids hugging her.
Cerys said that her friends disappeared and even her best pal drifted apart.
But then it got even worse when she found out that pupils were laughing at her behind her back on social media with an Instagram group.
She told the Daily Mail: “I was really shocked when a boy I knew sent me a message and told me that there was a group on Instagram called ‘Cerys’s stump’ with about 20 people in it.
“He told me that they were doing live streams about me, and sending messages, making jokes about my amputation.
“In one message they joked that I’d need WD40 on my wheelchair after a shower. The boy that told me what was going on said he’d been added to the group but left it immediately.”
Cerys said it was particularly difficult as she was so ill at the time with her chemotherapy but while she lost her friends from school she was able to make new ones with other teenagers who had cancer.
She recalled how she got close to other kids on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The Teenage Cancer Trust has revealed new research that shows the extent of the difficulties that youngsters can have with 55 percent finding friends reduce contact and 40 percent said that friends stopped contacting them completely.
Cerys finished her treatment in March 2020 but has been left with long-term liver problems.
She has been told by some teenagers and young adults that they struggle to know how to react when someone tells them they have cancer.
“A couple of people have told me that because you don’t really expect someone my age to get cancer, and they didn’t really understand what was happening, and they didn’t know what to say or do,” she said.
“Now I speak out in assemblies to help other people.”
On her advice on how to be a good friend to somebody with cancer, Cerys adds: “Send messages to see how they are doing – that always means a lot as it shows that you are thinking of them.”